By Leanne Delap
What sold Ann Kaplan on her home was the large kitchen, big enough for a family that uses a computer to keep it on track
Finding a base of operations for a family of eight is no simple task. When Ann Kaplan moved from Vancouver to marry plastic surgeon Steven Mulholland, she had a daunting task. First of all, Ms. Kaplan, the president and chief executive officer of Medicard, a company that finances elective medical procedures, brought two of her own teenaged children to town. Dr. Mulholland had two teenagers himself. Then in quick succession, the couple had two more together, both now toddlers.
“Mergers, acquisitions and start-ups,” Ms. Kaplan says.
The business model carries over to the eightbedroom house in Forest Hill. They chose to reconfigure it to their very particular needs. “The feature that sold me on this house,” she says, “was a kitchen in which we could fit a casual table with 12 chairs.”
Dr. Mulholland is perhaps the busiest and most famous plastic surgeon in town.
All the art in the home reflects Ms. Kaplan’s whimsy. Much of it was scooped up at restaurants at which she has dined. “That is the only time I see Steven, when we eat out.”
The formal living room is furnished with fun consignment antiques she has found, and all the soft furnishings and window treatments are from bolts of cloth she purchased in China, when Dr. Mulholland was off on speaking tours. “You can spend about a tenth what you would here on treatments. Look at all the windows; we are talking hundreds of yards.”
The formal dining room is Georgian oak, an inheritance from Ms. Kaplan’s family. She happily found a sideboard to match the heavy and dramatic circular table set.
“But the portraits are whimsical, things I’ve found for nothing. The one good piece is a portrait of me and my son by Joe Average, a Vancouver artist.”
In assigning bedrooms to the kids, the couple had to accommodate different lifestyles and make sure there was no squabbling over bathrooms. “Our teenage daughter is downstairs with the babies.” Her room is an ode to Johnny Depp.
Upstairs, three teenaged boys display their different personalities. One bedroom is all about Britney and Bob Marley, another is a perfectly organized place with an awesome aquarium.
The master bedroom, into which the couple has incorporated a very tidy walk-in closet and office, is filled with Ms. Kaplan’s beloved antiques. A double claw-footed tub is the crowning glory of the en suite.
“I have to run the household like a business,” she says; “Why shouldn’t it look like the Fairmont?” She gestures to the towel racks and laundry chutes that help her run the house without clutter.
The house has its share of computers. “A technician comes every Monday to program the system,” she says. “We need to be on top of what the kids can access.”
As for entertainment areas, Ms. Kaplan has firm views on television time, as well as aesthetics. “The area off the main living room will have a plasma television. Steven is very pro television, but, thankfully, technology has advanced to the point where a plasma screen can disappear into the floorboards.”
The entire house is childproofed.
And teenager proofed. “We just want to keep them all inside and safe,” Ms. Kaplan says. “With six children, that is your entire life. After work, this is all we do.”